COUNTY councillors have branded figures released since the opening of a £5.5m junction near Norton disappointing.

Councillors at a Ryedale area committee meeting last Wednesday said that the traffic data collected since the Brambling Fields junction was opened in 2012 was disappointing and criticised county council officers for not having the necessary data to back-up the results.

The report, delivered to the committee by highways and transportation area manager Richard Marr, showed that about 600 vehicles have been using the new slip road on an average weekday.

However, Mr Marr admitted to having missed a trick by "missing the baseline data" because he was unable to provide county councillors with comparative figures prior to the opening of the junction.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor John Clark said: "We will never know exactly what would have happened because we have not got the before figures."

Councillor Lindsay Burr added: "I think it is disappointing that we probably have not got the accurate data. I always think what you can measure you can manage; it would be helpful if we can start with some proper data."

Mr Marr said that a further report would be presented to the area committee in 12 months time.

He said: "At the moment, the data is not conclusive. It is one of the reasons why we want to collect data for another 12 months."

Mr Marr said that North Yorkshire County Council has been working with local businesses to raise the profile of the junction.

"We have done some work with big businesses, in particular on the industrial estate. It it hard to get into the mind of the wagon driver who wants to go where he wants to go," he said.

He said that he hoped that measures taken, such as working with the Highways Agency to produce signs on the A64 directing traffic for Norton to use the junction, would change driver behaviour and encourage them to use the Brambling Fields junction.

The report said that the junction improvement has had a "small positive impact in terms of the routing of traffic away from Butcher Corner".

Mr Marr said the county council would now continue monitoring the traffic flow over the next 12 months and suggestions were made of the possibility of banning heavy goods vehicles from using particular roads, such as Railway Street and Norton Road, except for access, to reduce the number of vehicles passing through Butcher Corner, Malton.